Geography & Breaking Down Barriers
The fact that Elizabeth was a college student was not the big deal, the fact that she was from Estonia was. I asked her how she was holding up in the Alabama heat. She said everyone was asking her that. Well duh, Estonia is located right under Finland & the daily high during the month of August is between 74 and 65 degrees. It's a little hotter here. I mean, Estonia is on the 60 degree longitudinal line. That's on the same longitude the southern part of Alaska. We're a little warmer down here than Alaska.
Another barrier was language. I couldn't imagine going to a foreign country and trying to speak the language. Elizabeth, actually spelled, Elizaveta (Eлизaвeтa), is trilingual. I just think that's incredible. She said her English was not that good. I told her I didn't agree. English is difficult for those of us who live here, I can't imagine trying to learn to speak it and write it when it is so different from my native tongue. She said this was an interesting country. I hope she feels like she is welcomed here. She leaves in a month to go home to Estonia to continue to her college education. She's studying logistics. I hope she does well.
I started thinking about language barriers when I worked registration at my children's schools. I can't imagine moving to a different country and not being able to read or write in that language. If I were to go to Mexico, I could ask where the bathroom or library are; I can tell someone that I have a little dog; and that I'm fat; but I can't carry on an intelligent conversation. It has to be intimidating for someone from an Asian country or an eastern country where the alphabet is completely different. Like I said, I have a new appreciation, and will try to have a lot more patience when I am working with or for someone from a foreign country.
What can I say, I still growing.